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Primary care
Muscle strength training for reversing frailty: how strong is the evidence?
  1. David Nunan
  1. Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Nunan; david.nunan{at}

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A recent systematic review assessing interventions to delay or reverse frailty found a combination of muscle strength training, and protein supplementation was the most effective intervention and the easiest to implement in primary care. The quality of data, however, leaves some uncertainties about the evidence.

Though definitions differ, frailty is seen as a distinct, yet multidimensional, health state where a minor event can trigger major changes in health from which the individual may fail to return to their previous level of health. Frailty is underpinned by ageing-related degeneration across multiple physiological systems.1 2 Estimates of its prevalence in community-dwelling older adults range from 5% to 17%.3

The importance of frailty as a risk factor is its association with other adverse health outcomes including falls and mobility decline resulting in dependency, need for long-term care and mortality.4 A need for care and support arises when someone is no longer able to manage vital activities of daily living such as washing, dressing and feeding themselves. …

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  • Contributors DN is the sole author.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.